When it comes to terms that are used in the hair transplant industry, graft survival simply refers to the individual graft’s ability to survive once it has been transplanted. Graft survival is important because no one has an unlimited donor supply. Everyone has a certain amount of donor hair that can be used, and this precious hair should not be wasted. An ethical doctor would want to successfully transplant as many hairs as possible, and that’s why he or she needs to constantly pay attention to and improve their graft survival rate.
So how can one make sure that donor hair is not wasted and that all grafts survive? While there are no guarantees that every single transplanted hair will survive, there are several measures one can take to increase the graft survival rate. The very first step is to find an excellent hair transplant doctor. Consulting with an experienced doctor who is extremely meticulous about their work paves the way for a successful hair transplant with a very high graft survival rate.
While every hair transplant doctor has a specific graft survival rate that they are determined to keep, a common rate is in the 90-95% range. A quality hair transplant doctor should be comfortable telling his clients what he does to keep the graft survival rate as high as possible. Most hair transplant doctors have developed their very own technique that they believe will lead to the highest graft survival rate.
There is constant discussion in the hair transplant industry regarding what the best technique is in order to make sure as many grafts as possible will survive once they have been transplanted. There has also been much discussion on whether “chubby” or “skinny” grafts have the better survival rate. A “chubby” graft is where some fat has been left around the graft, and a “skinny” one is where most of the fat has been removed and the graft has been trimmed down. Both “chubby” and “skinny” grafts have their pros and cons. While the fat around the “chubby” graft can help in its survival, a “chubby” graft also needs a “chubby” recipient site incision, which can lead to more damage to the scalp’s blood supply. Bigger incisions also will not allow for as many hairs to be placed in the same area. And “skinny” grafts are more vulnerable and prone to damage.
A couple of weeks after a hair transplant, most of the transplanted hair will shed. This does not mean that the hairs didn’t survive and there is no need to worry. This process is normal and expected. The root of the hair follicle remains and will grow new hair in the coming months. While it may not be possible to guarantee the survival of each and every transplanted hair, it is always doable to find a doctor who works hard to make sure that as many hairs as possible will survive.